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Winners of Volkswagen Distinguished Scholars Program announced

July 9, 2010

OAK RIDGE, Tenn.—Eleven students from three Tennessee universities are participating in the first Volkswagen Distinguished Scholars Program. The program, sponsored by Volkswagen Group of America, Oak Ridge Associated Universities and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, is a summer internship that provides students with research opportunities at ORNL during the first summer and an optional second summer experience at the new Volkswagen production facility in Chattanooga, Tenn.

The students will work under the mentorship of top scientists in the automotive science and technology fields, researching such areas as low-cost carbon fiber, battery storage, biofuels, engines and emissions, intelligent transportation system and sustainable manufacturing. Eligible students must be undergraduate juniors or seniors or graduate students who have not yet finished coursework and must be attending one of the five schools participating in the program: Fisk University, Tennessee State University, the University of Memphis, and the University of Tennessee in either Knoxville or Chattanooga.

The students and their respective schools for this year’s program are:

Student Name Academic Standing Schools
Levon Brassfield Undergraduate University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Brian Doll Undergraduate University of Tennessee, Knoxville
John Higgins Undergraduate University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Carolyn Hoagland Undergraduate University of Tennessee, Chattanooga
Jennifer Lewis Undergraduate University of Tennessee, Chattanooga
Chad Marshall Undergraduate University of Memphis
Sarah Newman Graduate University of Memphis
Susan Reid Undergraduate University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Megan Schutt Undergraduate University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Robert Singleton Undergraduate University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Joshua Solomon Undergraduate University of Tennessee, Chattanooga
2010 VW Distinguished Scholars and representatives from sponsoring organizations

Pictured are 2010 VW Distinguished Scholars and representatives from sponsoring organizations. First row (L-R): Megan Schutt, Levon Brassfield; Carolyn Hoagland, Jennifer Lewis and Sarah Newman. Second row (L-R): Marisa Moazen, ORAU; Tom Ballard, ORNL; Susan Reid, Brian Doll, John Higgins; Robert Singleton; Chad Marshall; Scott Wilson, Volkswagen; and Joshua Solomon.

“ORAU is proud to be a part of this collaboration and we are grateful to Volkswagen Group of America for extending this learning opportunity to students in the Tennessee area,” said Andy Page, CEO and president of ORAU. “This partnership gives students diverse and practical research opportunities through which they can help the automotive industry address some critical issues. Everyone benefits.”

“Since our first day in Chattanooga, Volkswagen has emphasized the importance of education in Tennessee and has supported that with more than $5 million in philanthropy dedicated to Tennessee schools,” said Scott Wilson with Volkswagen community relations. “Our partnership with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory is a phenomenal opportunity for these Tennessee students to get experience with international scientists while completing their education.”

“The Volkswagen Scholars program is a special opportunity to provide a meaningful summer internship for students at Tennessee universities who are considering careers in the automotive industry,” Tom Ballard, ORNL’s director of partnerships. “We are indebted to Volkswagen for underwriting the cost of this program.”

The Volkswagen Distinguished Scholars Program is part of Volkswagen Group of America’s “Partners in Education” program, which is a five-year, $5.28 million dollar initiative for educational enrichment and workforce training in the state of Tennessee.

About ORAU: Oak Ridge Associated Universities is a university consortium leveraging the scientific strength of 98 major research institutions to advance science and education by partnering with national laboratories, government agencies, and private industry. ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education for the U.S. Department of Energy.

About ORNL: Oak Ridge National Laboratory is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. ORNL is home to the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF), the nation’s most powerful open resource for capability computing, which engages a world-class team from national laboratories, research institutions, computing centers, universities and vendors.

About Volkswagen Group of America, Chattanooga Operations LLC: Volkswagen Group of America Inc. will invest $1 billion in the local economy for the Chattanooga plant and create more than 2,000 direct jobs in the region. According to independent studies, the new Volkswagen plant is expected to generate $12 billion in income growth and an additional 9,500 jobs related to the project. The Chattanooga plant will build a new midsize sedan specially designed for the North American market.

ORAU provides innovative scientific and technical solutions to advance national priorities in science, education, security and health. Through specialized teams of experts, unique laboratory capabilities and access to a consortium of more than 100 major Ph.D.-granting institutions, ORAU works with federal, state, local and commercial customers to advance national priorities and serve the public interest. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

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Media Contacts

Pam Bonee
Work: 865.576.3146
Cell: 865.603.5142

Scott Neal Wilson
Volkswagen Group of America
Chattanooga Operations
Work: 423.582.3018

Barbara Penland
Work: 865.574.3664

Media Contacts

Pam Bonee
Work: 865.576.3146
Cell: 865.603.5142

Wendy West
Work: 865.576.0028
Cell: 865.207.7953